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  • Writer's pictureJuniper

The Perfectionist vs The Canvas

I sat staring at the two large white intimidating canvases feeling fear rise up within me. Why am I holding onto these blank canvases? How long have I had them? I thought for a moment, 6 years!

I've been holding onto these two canvases for 6 years, and they were sitting in my closet because I was afraid to ruin them. The same person who was encouraging her young daughter to just freely express herself and get messy was afraid of ruining a couple of old canvases.

As a recovering perfectionist, I knew it was time to stop ignoring the pull to get my paints out. I'd been talking for weeks about wanting to paint but ignored it, telling myself that I didn't have time to paint, I had work to do, a child that needed me. One morning I stopped fighting against the urge and dug the 2 large canvases out and set them out where I could see them. Then I took a few moments to check in with my resistance, to get curious about the fear preventing me from painting on these canvases.

My perfectionist was afraid of the time it would take to sketch out an amazing idea, create a digital piece that I could enlarge and transfer onto the canvases. This is how I've always approached my paintings in the past, fully planned and perfectly executed. I just didn't have time for all that while working on my business, being a stay-at-home mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend - you get it.

I pulled off the plastic wrap and set them right beside my desk where they stared at me, waiting for me to make my move. It took a couple more days and a few conversations with friends about these canvases before I found myself one morning thinking the words, "fuck it." Fuck that fear, I was being called to paint and I didn't want to spend days or weeks designing. I grabbed a pencil and started drawing whatever shapes came into my mind. It was after both canvases were covered with pencil lines that I was reminded of women I once saw at a fundraiser. She was painting a large blank canvas without knowing what the end result would be. She was freely creating without a care about how trusting herself and the process. I remember a longing to be that free artistically.

Now a nearly finished painting is sitting here and that fearful perfectionist is on the mend. This painting has become more than acrylic paint on canvas, it has healed some old wounds that I've been carrying around. Through the process of FUCK IT to FUCK YEAH one colour at a time I reminded myself that 15 minutes a day focused on a single intention can become something so profound.

Does this message resonate with you? Do you have a blank canvas tucked in a closet because you're afraid to ruin it? I'd love to help you overcome that fear - we start in March.

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Nearly Finished Canvas Number 1

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